SPEARFISH, SD – The City of Spearfish has a new tool in place to guide the growth and expansion of parks and recreation opportunities over the next decade.
The Spearfish City Council Monday approved the 2022-2032 Parks and Recreation Master Plan, the first of its kind for Spearfish. City staff, along with members of the master planning committee and the Black Hills Council of Local Governments, worked on the plan over the last year to create the document, which will drive the growth and expansion of the Parks and Recreation Department and related opportunities through 2032.
“This plan will help shape Spearfish’s parks and recreation culture and create a better quality of life for current and future residents of the Spearfish community,” Parks and Recreation Director Tyler Ehnes said.
He explained that the master plan has the goal of developing procedures to 1) prioritize projects (current planning), and 2) for new park development (long-range planning), to guide the City in making strategic park and recreation investments that minimize the initial and ongoing financial and practical burdens while fulfilling the Park and Recreation Department’s mission. That mission is to “promote safe, healthy, and enjoyable park and recreation facilities as well as recreational and community activities which encourage enjoyable learning experiences and improve the quality of life for the residents of our community.”
The plan outlines an objective approach using data analysis, integrating data collected from a 2020 community input survey, which received more than 1,300 responses, multiple community input sessions, community advisory groups, and historical budget and staffing numbers. Ehnes explained, with these data, staff, along with the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Advisory Board, were able to create a list of priorities and develop decision-making criteria to guide future parks and recreation development.
“The Master Plan is designed to identify the size, type, and location of new parks, amenities, programs, and trails as driven by community growth and demand,” the document states. “It is to be applied during the City’s annual budgeting process, when requests or opportunities arise outside of the budget season, when requests are made to develop a property for the first time, and when requests are made for the redevelopment of a property. The Master Plan is not an end product. It is simply a means to guide the Department and the City in making decisions regarding the priority of projects and the need for expansion or renovation.”
The document includes a community profile, current planning/project prioritization, and long-range planning/expansion plan, as well as park inventory/assessment, volunteer opportunities, and more. The full document is available starting on page 39 here.
Photo caption: The City of Spearfish has a new tool in place to guide the growth and expansion of parks and recreation opportunities over the next decade. Photo courtesy City of Spearfish